13:25 Nov. 8, 2016
Russia's top diplomat says Moscow wants to resolve "Ukraine's internal conflict" more than someone else
Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov has rejected accusations that Russia dragging its feet to resolve conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"Russia is interested in resolving the conflict on its borders more than anyone else, despite the fact that periodically we hear the assertion that we want to drag it on, keeping it in a frozen state forever," Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian media.
Lavrov added that those accusing Russia are just trying to "blame their own faults on others."
"All of us agree that the speedy and full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains on the table. Under these accords, Kyiv assumed specific obligations to grant special status to the Donbas region, to pass the law on amnesty and to hold local elections," Lavrov noted.
Ukraine argues elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be possible only after Russia withdraws its troops and makes its proxies stop their firing, thus ensuring the security of citizens and observers.
The Kremlin vehemently denies it has its troops fighting in eastern Ukraine, though last month Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that "Moscow had to protect the Russian-speaking population in Donbas and Crimea" after Ukraine's Euromaidan revolution.